Episode 192

FOSSY 2023 with Erik Benner


July 28th, 2023

17 mins 21 secs

Your Hosts
Special Guest

About this Episode


Erik Benner


Richard Littauer | Eriol Fox

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! We are in Portland at FOSSY, the Free and Open Source Software Yearly conference that is held by the Software Freedom Conservancy. Richard and Eriol are joined by Erik Benner, who works for Mythics, a large public sector IT company specializing in cloud migration and traditional legacy applications. Today, they discuss the challenges of transitioning open source software to government departments and the need for technical and cultural support in sustaining open source in the public sector. Erik emphasizes the importance of verifying true open source software and shares insights on Mythics role in providing services and support for government organizations. They also dive into the usability of open source applications, Erik’s background in Unix and Linux, and the potential benefits and considerations of government involvement in open source. Hit download to hear more!

[00:00:57] Erik tells us about Mythics.

[00:01:43] Eriol asks Erik about the challenges of transitioning open source software to government departments and their familiarity with it. He also mentions the challenge of companies misrepresenting proprietary software as open source.

[00:04:43] Erik suggests that governments should be more diligent in verifying if technology marketed as open source is truly open source and not modified.

[00:05:56] Richard is curious about Mythics and Erik clarifies that Mythics helps government organizations procure and support commercial distributions like Oracle, providing services and knowledge base for technical support and education.

[00:08:16] We learn about Mythics responsibility for fixing dependencies in the tech stack as Erik emphasizes the need for education and enablement in the public sector where training may be limited. He gives an example of cities adopting open source and highlights Mythics role in providing assistance.

[00:09:44] Eriol expresses interest in the usability and user design of open source software, suggesting it could be more user-friendly, and Erik agrees and mentions that open source applications in the UI space have room for improvement in terms of user experience.

[00:10:56] Erik talks about his early experience with Unix systems and his introduction to Linux, he mentions his involvement in kernel hacks, bug finding, and bug fixes. Then, he explains his career transition, how he became more involved with technologies and open source and discusses the importance of using the right tools for the right job.

[00:13:04] Richard asks Erik about his opinion on government subsidizing or paying for open source to improve cybersecurity and make it a part of shared infrastructure. Erik mentions the MITRE Corporation and other government-funded initiatives that contribute to open source, highlighting existing grants and funding mechanisms. He compares government involvement in open source to examples like the post office and Amtrak, noting that a mix of government funding and other approaches can be effective.

[00:15:09] Find out where you can follow Erik online.



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